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Getting Ready to Launch

Earlier this year, we set to work on a long awaited refresh of our Teams and Community products. This update has been a long time coming and we’re really excited to start sharing what we’ve been working on.

Change can be a little disorientating and when it comes to operational tools for emergency responders and nobody wants to see too many changes enacted at once. For this reasons, we decided early on that the refresh would be a two-stage undertaking.

Phase One, dubbed ‘Mercury’ will be launched in May or early June and focusses on the Dashboard end of the applications. Basically anything that is part and parcel of working with contacts, lists or sending an actual notification will be updated. Work on Phase Two, or ‘Gemini’ will begin this summer and will target the administrative side of the application. Expect roll out in the fall of 2018.

While we’ve made every efforts to preserve the simplicity that has dominated our development approach to date, this refresh will bring some needed changes and expanded features. With this in mind, we’ll be sharing a number of blog posts that outline these changes and the thinking behind them. This way, everyone will have a chance to see what’s coming before the updates arrive in their accounts.

We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to. Thanks for the ongoing support and for the constant feedback and ideas.

– The Connect Rocket Team

Enhanced Status Monitoring

We’re pleased to announce that we now offer enhanced monitoring for Connect Rocket applications. This improved service offers the same real-time feedback on core components of our infrastructure that you’re used to but also includes the option to receive proactive notifications about outages that could impact your operations.

You can check the status of Connect Rocket at any time by visiting status.connectrocket.com. To sign up for alerts by text or email, simply select ‘Subscribe to Updates’ from this page or visit: status.connectrocket.com/subscribe and provide the requested information.

We hope you find this update valuable.

Feature Highlight: Duty Manager

Over the last several years, the number of features in Connect Rocket Teams has grown and several have seen enhancements. While we’ve done our best to share updates on these changes, we know it’s not always easy to keep up given our busy lives. With this in mind, this will be an ongoing series of posts to help keep everyone up to speed on enhancements that we’ve undertaken.

When Duty Manager was first introduced, it offered basic functionality. Users could move ‘on’ or ‘off’ duty via a text message or email into the application. In an ‘off’ duty state, the user did not need to worry about being interrupted by calls or texts. The feature got the job done but left the less conscientious at risk of forgetting to move back ‘on’ duty at some future point.

Early this year, we enhanced the natural language processing power of Duty Manager. These enhancements make texting more natural but also addressed the risk of forgetting to return from an ‘off’ duty state. Below are a few examples of how you could start using Duty Manager today.

As an example you can text the following to your Connect Rocket account number:

“Off Duty for 3 hours”
Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you are ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty date/time. In three hours, Connect Rocket will message you when you are automatically placed back ‘On Duty’.

“Off Duty until Friday”
Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you are ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty time. On the next instance of ‘Friday’, Connect Rocket will message you when you are automatically placed back ‘On Duty’.

“Off Duty until tomorrow at 4PM”
Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you are ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty date/time. The following day, Connect Rocket will message you when you are automatically placed back ‘On Duty’.

“Off Duty until April 15, 2018 at 10AM” or “Off Duty until Apr 15 at 10AM”
Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you are ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty time. On April, 15, 2018 at 10:00AM Connect Rocket will message you when you are automatically placed back ‘On Duty’

Notes:
If you do not include a time, Connect Rocket will place you back on duty on the requested day at the default ‘On Duty’ time. This default time can be changed by an account Administrator in your account settings.

If you do not specify a year, that Connect Rocket will assume the next instance of a date.

If you override an existing duty state with a new request to Duty Manager, the application will let you know and replace the previous Duty State with the most recent one.

Well, that’s a little update on Duty Manager. We hope you find it useful.

Locate. A new way to find lost subjects.

Today we’re pleased to launch a new Beta feature called Locate. Connect Rocket Locate allows Teams users to obtain the position of a mobile device with a simple text message exchange in a matter of seconds.Originally developed to help find lost subjects by ground search and rescue, Locate has also been tested by marine search and rescue groups and industry. In the weeks ahead, we expect other valuable use cases to come to light. If you have feedback for us, you can submit it here. Choose “I have feedback about a Beta feature” and let us know what you discovered or share your idea.

Locate is available in all Teams accounts starting today…we hope everyone will give it a try.

Read the documentation to get started.

Cheers,
– The Connect Rocket Team

New Duty Manager Enhancements

Emergency services is somewhat unique in that even when off duty some members still want to know what’s happening. At the same time, other members want to be left in peace when going off shift. We built Duty Manager specifically to meet this need.

In it’s initial release, Duty Manager provided simple but powerful capabilities, allowing Contacts to move ‘On’ and ‘Off Duty’ via a text message. When in an ‘Off Duty’ state Contacts receive no calls or messages from Connect Rocket and can remain uninterrupted. When ready to receive notifications again, a simple text message of ‘On Duty’ restores call and message delivery.

“Nobody wants the job of managing duty status for a large team. With Duty Manager, members can sort themselves out.”

Recently we launched an enhanced version of Duty Manager that makes an already great feature more powerful and convenient. Now you can move ‘Off Duty’ and schedule your return to an ‘On Duty’ state at a future date/time – all from a single text. Now you won’t forget to move back on duty at the right time.

Below are a few common scenarios that might be familiar. Leveraging Duty Manager’s enhanced natural language processing makes this easier than ever.

Stepping off shift for a few hours to attend a function at your child’s school?

Text “Off Duty for 3 hours” to your Connect Rocket phone number. Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you’re ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty date/time. In three hours, Connect Rocket will message you when you’re automatically placed back ‘On Duty’.

Coming off shift and not back on until your next one starts later in the week?

Text “Off Duty until Friday at 7AM” to your Connect Rocket phone number.

Connect Rocket will respond letting you know that you’re ‘Off Duty” and confirming your return to duty time. On Friday at 7AM local time, Connect Rocket will message you when you’re automatically placed back ‘On Duty’

 

Missing part of a 4-day work block due to a cold?

Text “Off Duty until tomorrow at 7AM” to your Connect Rocket phone number.

or perhaps you’re…

Taking an extended holiday leave?

Text “Off Duty until March 15, 2018 at 10AM” or “Off Duty until Mar 15 at 10AM” to your Connect Rocket phone number.

Yep. You guessed it. Duty Manager will take you off duty and send you a text when you move back on duty in the future.

Of course Account Administrators can continue to manage duty status via the application interface and will always retain ultimate control over who is on or off duty and manually moving on and off duty with two separate text messages still works the same as before.

Thanks for following along and a huge hat tip for all the input along the way. This enhancement was a direct result of your feedback and ideas.

Cheers,
– The Connect Rocket Team